Taika Waititi Once Quipped He’d Be Quickly Fired If He Directed a Star Wars Movie

Disney-owned Lucasfilm is reportedly looking to lure The Mandalorian director Taika Waititi to the film side of the Star Wars franchise, but the fan-favorite filmmaker once predicted he'd be fired from a Star Wars movie "within a week." The Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit director helmed the season finale of the Jon Favreau-created Mandalorian, where Waititi also voiced bounty hunter droid IG-11, but quickly wrote off reports he was being courted to direct a Star Wars movie with a cheeky tweet showing only Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album. In a 2017 tweet, Waititi joked about his incompatibility with a Star Wars feature film:

"I like to complete my films," Waititi wrote in a September 2017 tweet when responding to a fan who asked about his interest in directing a Star Wars movie. In a subsequent tweet, Waititi added, "I like to complete my films."

Waititi published the pair of tweets the same day Lucasfilm released a statement saying the studio "mutually" parted ways with director Colin Trevorrow on Star Wars: Episode IX, the final installment in Disney's Star Wars sequel trilogy.

Lucasfilm famously experienced turbulence on several of its Star Wars films developed under Disney after its 2012 acquisition of the George Lucas-founded company. Months before Trevorrow's firing, filmmaker duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired off Solo: A Star Wars Story by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who later recruited veteran director Ron Howard to pilot the project.

Asked about the tweet in an October 2017 interview with Uproxx, Waititi clarified, "I was just saying I’d be scared I’d be fired."

"Look, I’m not an idiot," he said of his Star Wars prospects. "Who would actually say no to Star Wars? Of course, I didn’t send that idea very seriously, it’s more that in light of all the things that were happening over the last couple of months, it would make me a little nervous." He then said he understood why the studio feels "they have a duty to keep it a certain way," referencing the long-established tone of the franchise.

After Waititi reinvigorated Thor with threequel Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel Studios, also owned by Disney, Kennedy said she "would love" for Waititi to direct a Star Wars movie.

"I think he has exactly the right sensibility," she told Newshub. "It was very exciting to see him step into the Marvel universe and do such an amazing job with Thor."

Years after Waititi's popular tweet, he boarded Star Wars when he directed The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 8, "Redemption," which involved light touches of Waititi's famed sense of humor — particularly in an early scene centered around two poor-shooting Stormtroopers (played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally).

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Most recently, Waititi confirmed he would be open to helming a Star Wars movie when Variety inquired about his willingness to jump from Star Wars TV to a future feature: "Yes," he said. "Obviously I would, but I’m going to just settle for IG-11 being the hero of the entire season [of The Mandalorian]."

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger previously issued a Star Wars slowdown on the big screen and said the franchise's immediate future lies on Disney+ in the form of television. An unrevealed Star Wars film is scheduled to release in December 2022 and will end Star Wars' three-year theatrical hiatus after last month's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Lucasfilm previously released one Star Wars film per year starting in 2015.

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